Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nutrition Facts Label

When we stayed in the hospital, after Lainey's diagnosis, we had a crash course from a nutritionist about food. The question isn't "What can't she eat?" but "What can she eat?" Now I'm not going to give you a health lesson, because I don't know much myself, but carbohydrates turn your food into sugar to give your body energy. If you want to read up on it more, I've posted some links on the side of our blog.

On the nutrition facts label, we always look at the total number of carbs to calculate what Lainey's eating and how much insulin she'll need.

We also need to check her blood sugar to determine what she can eat. If her blood sugar is low, any number less than 70, she needs to eat at least 15 carbs worth of food to get her sugar up. If she's high, any number over 180, we want to limit her carb intake. Example: The other night Lainey wanted to eat a cookie. I said, "Let's check your sugar." It was in the 400's. So I gave her insulin and told her she had to wait to eat a cookie. After about a 1/2 hour I gave her a cookie (when the insulin has had time to bring her sugar down) and gave her extra insulin to cover the carbs of the cookie.
Lainey gets mad when I tell her she can't have a cookie or donut because she's "too high". She'll yell at me, "No! Lainey's not high! Lainey's low!" At least she understands that when her blood sugar is low, she gets to eat something sweet.

Here's a model on how to "count carbs". I can't imagine not having the nutrition facts label as a reference. I spoke to someone who's children were diagnosed with diabetes in the '70's and '80's when it wasn't mandatory to have this label on food packages. We would be lost without it! Most serving sizes are 1/2, 3/4, or 1 cup, but when you're feeding a 14 month old you're not going to give her a full up of cereal. I remember calling Dustin at work one day because I couldn't figure out the carbs to serving ratio. I was almost in tears I was so frustrated, but he eventually told me how many carbs were in a 1/8 cup of a 3/4 cup serving size.

A couple months ago my parents watched my girls for me. My dad asked to borrow the carb counting book for a reference. I told him I didn't bring it. "How do you know the carbs of certain foods then," he asked. "It's all up here," I said, pointing to my head.

I can't tell you how many servings sizes to carb ratios I have memorized.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this information, Megann!! I've never understood why you had to count carbs, health class was a looonnngg time ago! I think I understand a little better. I need to read some of the website you have here.

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